WASHINGTON (AP) — Jenson Brooksby grabbed the last six points of the opening set and went on to beat Kevin Anderson 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the first round of the Citi Open on Monday, two weeks after losing to the two-time Grand Slam runner-up in an ATP final.
Brooksby, a 20-year-old from Sacramento, California, was oh-so-close to dropping the first set at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open. He faced a set point while serving down 6-5, but Anderson put a backhand into the net.
Then Anderson’s 113 mph ace — one of his 11 aces on the 80-degree afternoon — provided him with a 4-1 edge in the tiebreaker. But the 35-year-old South African wouldn’t take another point in that set.
Brooksby used drop shots to collect a couple of points and was helped by some misses by Anderson, including an unforced error on a backhand that closed a 14-stroke exchange to end the set.
On July 18, Anderson topped Brooksby in straight sets to win a grass-court title at Newport, Rhode Island.
Anderson has been ranked as high as No. 5 and was a finalist at the U.S. Open in 2017, losing to Rafael Nadal, and at Wimbledon in 2018, losing to Novak Djokovic. Anderson is currently 75th.
Brooksby is ranked 130th; he finished 2020 at 307th.
He’ll face 16th-seeded Frances Tiafoe under the lights of the Citi Open’s main stadium on Tuesday night.
In other early Day 1 results, Andreas Seppi advanced to a matchup against No. 2 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime by beating Yusatka Uchiyama 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Daniel Elahi Galan eliminated Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-3 and Ricardas Berankis defeated qualifier Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (4), 6-2.
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